Monday, May 18, 2015

woodblock and lucky finds

Old Navy top Calvin Klein jeans black and white print teacher style

sleeveless split-neck top, Old Navy clearance
Calvin Klein straight-leg jeans, Ross
necklace, New Zealand trip souvenir

       A loose-fitting, flowy top has been my Kryptonite lately. Add in a print that reminds me a bit of a Japanese woodblock, and I'm ready to buy! This was a easy, comfortable outfit.
wood and bone necklace black and white print top teacher style
    Yesterday, I stopped by Ross and scored two pairs of shoes. One pair is from a brand that I haven't heard of before - Cobb Hill by New Balance. These Omara slides feel amazingly supportive.
       I also picked up a pair of New Balance sneakers.  My hope is to figure out how to wear them with a dress, which would be the perfect combination of comfort and style. I was inspired by Brittney of Another Beautiful Thing -- her pairing of a snakeskin print dress and black sneakers is chic and effortless.

Friday, May 15, 2015

lei day

"Home" tee, from
Indigo Rein jeans, Macy's
earrings, Haitian Beads
       Large hoop earrings are not my favorite - I always manage to snag my fingers in one when touching my hair and worry about pulling it out of my ear (ouch!) But I liked how the shape echoed the O in the graphic and the color popped against the dark gray and denim. A student brought me a lei for Teacher Appreciation Day last Friday, which  I thought worked well with the graphic tee - not to mention the yellow ribbon matches my earrings!

       May Day (May 1) is known as Lei Day in Hawaii. There's a lei making contest (always wanted to go, have never gotten to yet!) and in most elementary schools and even some middle schools and high schools, May Day programs are a big deal. Most schools schedule their celebrations toward the end of May to accommodate testing schedules. Sadly, I'll be out of state on a quick trip on our May Day, but I'm confident that my students will do a great job - they've been working hard on their hula.
         Happy Aloha Friday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


My yellow pendant necklace strikes again. A kimono, plain tee, and skinny jeans is quickly becoming a uniform.

Bright + butterflies

Purple striations

Saturday, May 9, 2015

April budget

Jersey shift dress
   I've always wanted a t-shirt dress, but too-thin, clingy fabric has always deterred me from purchasing. This is made of a thicker knit than I expected, and I went up a size for a body-skimming vs. body-hugging fit.

Mixed-print jersey dress
   Easy-fitting, navy blue, and dotted ... need I say more?
2 dresses at Old Navy, $7.80 ($40 in rewards spent)

Sweet Caroline Boutique "Home" tee, via, $15.98
     I've always eschewed shirts emblazoned with Hawaii, mostly because many of them look quite touristy.  (The word Hawaii is not actually printed on this shirt.) However, I thought this might be fun to style for work. I'll wear it casually with jeans now and in the fall, add a blazer or cardigan. 

Romeo and Juliet Couture kimono top, Ross, $17.79
        I couldn't resist this ... the geometric pattern, the neutral color, and the black banding around the neck and sleeves.

Budget: $50
Total spent: $41.57
Under: $8.43

Friday, May 8, 2015


striped dress gray and white teacher style
Banana Republic dress, Savers

       This is the first drawstring-waist dress I've found that passes muster. The ones I've tried on previously were made of jersey and the drawstring didn't fall anywhere near my waist, which meant a giant floppy fold of fabric up top - definitely not flattering! I think the cotton fabric makes it crisper and helps with the fit. It doesn't photograph particularly well, but it's work-appropriate and great for hot days.
       Savers was having a 40% off all dresses sale when I scooped this up (along with the green dress of my dreams). With the discount, I scored this for $10. One of my favorite things about thrift shopping is the opportunity to score a high-quality garment at a great price. Some of my favorite things about this dress include: the Oxford blue trim at the hem and inside the collar, the hidden placket, and the metal accents on the drawstring ends. All little touches that make a very simple dress shine.
      I'd like to style this dress with a statement necklace ... I own a good variety of necklaces, but none of them seem to work quite right with stripes. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a necklace that stand out against stripes.

       Yesterday, my students began working on mini-books titled "Top10 Reasons I Love My Mom." While we're nearing the end of our year together, this little project illuminated many previously unseen aspects of my students. My rather rough-and-tumble, athletic student's first reason? "I love you because you take me to church." His best friend's reasons included "I love you because you lie down with me before I go to sleep." Another student wrote that she loved her mom because she always gives her a "warm hug" before she heads to school. I talk to them so much about preparing for middle school, high school, and college, that sometimes I forget how young they really are. Looking over their lists reminded me of that, and it was a good reminder.
     Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

a little leopard, a lot of books

tee, Gap
jeans, Banana Republic Factory Store
leopard print belt, thrifted 
necklace, eBay
     It's been much too long since I wore this necklace. I added the leopard-print belt because it seemed to go well with the mustard/goldenrod color in the necklace.

     I've listened to some really great audiobooks lately. The last one I finished was "Operation Yes" by Sara Lewis Holmes. I had read the book this year, and really enjoyed it - it's a great story about the power of art, and the positive changes that a teacher can trigger, and its setting in an elementary school which serves kids from military families reminded me of the school I work for. One great thing about the audiobook is that the reader's voice really captured the North Carolina setting, which only added to my enjoyment of a familiar story.
     Currently, I'm listening to "The Age of Miracles" by Karen Thompson Walker.  This is the first audiobook that I've listened to "cold" - I usually read the book first, then listen to the audio version.  I've always hesitated to encounter a book for the first time in audio form, partly because I derive so much more enjoyment from absorbing a story from a printed page vs. by ear. I also think I am much more of a visual vs. auditory person, but using audiobooks seems to be balancing things out. Walker's book has a great premise - the main character, Julia, is 11 when humanity figures out that Earth is undergoing what's called "the slowing" - the slowing rotation of the planet leads to increasingly longer days and nights. This results in all kinds of interesting effects - the birds are the first to succumb, and crops begin to require exceedingly expensive greenhouses equipped with lights that keep the plants alive during long periods of darkness. It's not what I'd call a fast-paced book at all (which I suppose is fitting, given the premise!) but I think the author captures really well Julia's loneliness and the travails of middle school.

Monday, May 4, 2015

sweet spot

BCBG Max Azria silk top, thrifted
trousers, Banana Republic
pendant, gift
earrings, from sis

    A few weeks ago, I went on two interviews. For the first, I wore my black and white polka dot dress and no jewelry. For the second, I wore this. Is it coincidence that I felt more comfortable and confident in this outfit than I did in the first? I'm still figuring out my interview-outfit formula, and this is the closest I've come so far. Since my jewelry tends to be inexpensive and fun, I usually hesitate to add it to an interview outfit. However, I liked the splash of yellow with the blue silk and the earrings added a little subtle interest.